Snacks / Appetizers

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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This dish once again proofs that you don´t have to be a professional chef in order to serve a wonderful, beautiful, delicious and healthy dish 🙂
Just throw together a bit of love and a few good quality ingredients, make sure that the different flavors don´t “bite” each other and there is an interesting contrast of textures and colors, and – voilà, great food in a minute, without fuss or deep pockets. And there you have it 🙂
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Bon Appétit !  Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast Of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 71 – “AVOCADO KNÄCKEBRÖD”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Smoked salmon and eggs – what’s not to love ?
I’ll just leave it at that and throw in the pictures.
If these don´t hook you, all´s lost and you better find another passion. Food certainly is not your calling 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Preparation :
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Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Escargots  on  ChefsOpinion
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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Preparation :
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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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While the old standby of fried calamari can be a wonderful dish, what one usually gets in a run of the mill restaurant are rubbery, underseasoned, overbreaded,  tasteless poor cousins of the real deal. On the other hand, grilling them is much easier, less labor intensive, less costly (all the frying fat) and, let’s be honest, damn near impossible to screw up by a normal person with even just a tiny bit of talent for cooking. Grilled squid/calamari are also a perfect ingredient for great green-leaves salad, fresh pasta salad, or, as featured here, a combination of both. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Read about my lunch in the Key’s last Sunday at the bottom of this page 🙂
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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Grilled Calamari Salad With Frisee And Israeli Couscous

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Preparation :
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This is what Florida / Miami living is all about
We want fresh seafood – let’s take a quick trip to have lunch in the Keys.
First stop Key Largo for stone crab claws appetizer at the “Key Largo Fisheries”, then on to Isla Morada for a beautiful sunset and blackened mahi mahi main course, washed down with a couple of brewsky’s while listening to live rock music right on the beach at my favorite Florida beach bar, “Loreley”.
Life is Good !
If you think seafood is cheap around here –
10 claws on paper baskets (only self service) = $ 120.00, sauce and tax extra 
Paradise sure has its price 

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Today was a very special day for me and there was a possibility that the day would not end as I had planned for the past year and a half.
Because of that and the resulting tension, I was not able to sleep last night and the night before, so by the time 7:00AM rolled around, I was up and awake since 48 hours. Having to be at an appointment at 2:PM and still in the process of setting up a few things, I realized that I needed a very substantial breakfast that would get me through the day. Not feeling like eggs or bread with nutella or marmalade, I first thought of prepping a congee which involves little prep, but then I saw some tortillas and chorizo in the fridge and decided that would be the perfect pick-me-up for the moment. It took only a few minutes to prepare, since I had some leftover salsa verde and salsa Mexicana in the fridge as well. The result was a quick, satisfying, and delicious breakfast that energized me throughout the rest of the day.
And best of all, the day ended as I hoped it would 🙂
Tonight I’ll probably (hopefully) sleep for 12 hours – at least…………….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Tortillas  on  ChefsOpinion
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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Spicy Pork Sausage”

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Breakfast Of Champions # 69 – “Tortilla With Chorizo”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Best ! Poached Eggs ! Ever !

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Best ! Poached Eggs ! Ever !

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Some folks will cry out about the title of this dish, and (maybe) rightfully so.
We don’t all prefer the same version of a dish, and even if we do, sometimes we long for a different rendition. So, pronouncing a dish the best is obviously very biased and only correct when applied to our own tastes and preferences.
Alas, I can truthfully say that this particular combination is my all-time favorite.
As I cut into the egg and its soft yolk mixes with the spinach and the crisp bread while the overall mild flavor gets a kick from the relish, something almost magical happens and I find the result wonderfully delicious with a flavor and texture that’s just heavenly and unique 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Best ! Poached Eggs ! Ever !

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Caramelized-Onions Spinach

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Best ! Poached Eggs ! Ever !

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Preparation :
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Seafood Salad….(Worthy Of The Holidays)

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Before I went to get some last-minute shopping done this morning, I contemplated my probable food-intake for the next two days. It downed on me that if I don’t want to gain at least 10 lbs over the holidays, I must offset the gluttony with sensible breakfasts and luncheons, so I started today with this simple and light salad;
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“Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa”
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P.S.
For seafood salads, I always like to “refresh” refrigerated seafood in a mixture of room temperature-water, lemon juice, garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. (Keep in liquid for ten minutes)
For all hot dishes, I like to “refresh” refrigerated seafood in a mixture of room temperature-whole butter, lemon juice, garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. (Keep in butter for ten minutes)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Mix romaine lettuce, cucumbers and rainbow grape tomatoes with a simple honey/mustard vinaigrette, plate on serving platter.
Top with pomegranate seeds, blueberries and mango, refresh seafood according to instruction on this page.
Top with seafood.
Drizzle with avocado dressing/salsa.
Serves – well, that depends entirely on you.  🙂   (This one was just the perfect sized meal for Bella and me)
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Avocado Salsa/Dressing Recipe:
In a food processor, blend 1 cup honey/mustard vinaigrette and juice from 1 lime with meat from 1 to 2 ea Hass(Haas) Avocado (depending on size) until smooth, stir-in 1 tblsp finely chopped cilantro.
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Seafood  on  ChefsOpinion
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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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I could eat just the salad on its own……….

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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There are many different meats that aspire to take the top spot in the culinary world.
Different animals, different cuts, different preparations and so forth. Personally, I also have my own arsenal of favorites. However, when I ask myself which is my ABSOLUTE favorite, I have to say pork belly. Simmered, roasted, grilled, braised, prepared whole, cubed or in thick or thin slices, I could eat pork belly 7 times a week (If my doctor would allow it}. Therefore, I usually prepare it only twice a month, each time already looking forward to the next.
This recipe is especially endearing to me, because the chili cuts through the richness of the belly and makes the dish seem to be much more healthy. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Please note that there are chili pastes of various heat commercially available. If they are not available in your area, I suggest you make your own, using the chilies or peppers you are most comfortable with. Otherwise, just use a very small amount of regular chili paste, suitable to your taste and heat tolerance.
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Click here for more  Pork Belly  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Pork Belly And Broccoli In Chili/Hoisin Sauce

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Suppli al Telefono

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Many fans of Italian fried rice balls are a bit unclear about the difference between Arancino and Suppli.
I found this explanation online which seems to be very accurate to me and should help to calm down future hot-blooded discussions 🙂
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Excerpt from La Piccola Fontana :
“The Sicilian people will be having some stern words with us for combining their beloved arancino with it’s Roman cousins, supplì, and vice versa but the fact remains that when in Italy you should try at least one type of freshly fried rice ball.

These starch bombs appear in bars, restaurants, and market stalls all over Italy, but if you are going to order one, it helps to know the difference. The Sicilian arancino is often larger, and either conical or circular in shape. In fact, its name means “small orange.” It is typically filled with ragu and some sort of cheese, with optional veggies like peas, mushrooms, or eggplant.

You will also find specialty arancini like carbonara, though purists tend to turn up their noses at these newfangled inventions.

Supplì, on the other hand, are a Roman specialty usually found in pizzerias and as antipasti. They are often oblong in shape and traditionally contain only rice, tomato sauce, and a large piece of mozzarella in the middle.”
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And there you have it. Clear, once and for all 🙂
As for me, I love both equally, the only difference being that I can eat a bunch of Arancini as a main course, while two Suppli are usually enough and therefore more suited (for me) as an appetizer or snack.
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PS:
There are many different variations of both arancini and suppli, different fillings, different types of rice, tomato sauce added to the rice, etc.
In my opinion, when made and served with love, they are all equally delicious and satisfying 🙂
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P.P.S.
Supposedly, the name Suppli al Telefono stems from the mozzarella cheese which forms into long thin strands (Telephone Lines) when one pulls the supply apart 🙂
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P.P.P.S.
Usually fried rice balls are served with tomato sauce. However, I prefer to eat them with Tonkatsu Sauce
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Arancina

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Preparation :
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Panierte Frikadelle Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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WHY ARE MOST AMERICAN BURGERS CRAP ? “

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Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here. 🙂
But………..

For many years the American style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America for the first time in 1970, my  “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our German version, which go
by the names of:

Frikadellen, Buletten, Hamburger, Fleischpflanzln.

To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of  low-grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
ground beef.
( Notice friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not “all” )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments. No love 😦 .
So here is what I suggest to the American public :
Let’s LOVE and RESPECT our food from here on, even a simple burger !     🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle. There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or regular beef burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly, skinny patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
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If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read :  History of the Hamburger

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Ingredients:
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1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp. olive oil
1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tsp chopped, fresh marjoram
1 oz butter

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Saute 
onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan.
Shape 4 patties and saute over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 375°F oven until done.
You may also continue sauteing them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.

Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi Seasoning.  In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .

Find your own best burger or fricadelle recipe by experimenting and giving them the love they deserve  !   🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Patties  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about
Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischplanzerl, Fleischküchle, Faschierte Laibchen, Fasírt,  Faširanci, Perkedel, etc…….


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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures>
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